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BIOL 114

Ch 2: Essential Chemistry

TermDefinition
Acid A substance that increases the hydrogen ion (H1) concentration in a solution.
Aqueous solution A solution in which water is the solvent.
Atom The smallest unit of matter that retains the properties of an element.
Atomic number The number of protons in each atom of a particular element.
Base A substance that decreases the hydrogen ion (H1) concentration in a solution.
Buffer A chemical substance that resists changes in pH by accepting hydrogen ions from or donating hydrogen ions to solutions.
Chemical Bond An attraction between two atoms resulting from a sharing of outer-shell electrons or the presence of opposite charges on the atoms. The bonded atoms gain complete outer electron shells.
Chemical reaction A process leading to chemical changes in matter, involving the making and/or breaking of chemical bonds.
Cohesion The attraction between molecules of the same kind.
Compound A substance containing two or more elements in a fixed ratio; for example, table salt (NaCl) consists of one atom of the element sodium (Na) for every atom of chlorine (Cl).
Covalent bond An attraction between atoms that share one or more pairs of outer-shell electrons.
Electron A subatomic particle with a single unit of negative electrical charge. One or more electrons move around the nucleus of an atom.
Element A substance that cannot be broken down into other substances by chemical means. Scientists recognize 92 chemical elements occurring in nature.
Evaporative cooling A property of water whereby a body becomes cooler as water evaporates from it.
Heat The amount of kinetic energy contained in the movement of the atoms and molecules in a body of matter. Heat is energy in its most random form.
Hydrogen bond A type of weak chemical bond formed when a partially positive hydrogen atom from one polar molecule is attracted to the partially negative atom in another molecule (or in another part of the same molecule).
Ion An atom or molecule that has gained or lost one or more electrons, thus acquiring an electrical charge.
Ionic bond An attraction between two ions with opposite electrical charges. The electrical attraction of the opposite charges holds the ions together.
Isotope A variant form of an atom. Isotopes of an element have the same number of protons and electrons but different numbers of neutrons.
Mass A measure of the amount of material in an object.
Mass number The sum of the number of protons and neutrons in an atom's nucleus.
Matter Anything that occupies space and has mass.
Molecule A group of two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds.
Neutron An electrically neutral particle (a particle having no electrical charge), found in the nucleus of an atom.
Nucleus (plural, nuclei) (1) An atom's central core, containing protons and neutrons. (2) The genetic control center of a eukaryotic cell.
PH scale A measure of the relative acidity of a solution, ranging in value from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic). pH stands for potential hydrogen and refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions (H1).
Polar molecule A molecule containing polar covalent bonds (having opposite charges on opposite ends).
Products An ending material in a chemical reaction.
Proton A subatomic particle with a single unit of positive electrical charge, found in the nucleus of an atom.
Radioactive isotope An isotope whose nucleus decays spontaneously, giving off particles and energy.
Reactant A starting material in a chemical reaction.
Solute A substance that is dissolved in a solution.
Solution A liquid consisting of a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances: a dissolving agent, the solvent, and a substance that is dissolved, the solute.
Solvent The dissolving agent in a solution. Water is the most versatile known solvent.
Temperature A measure of the intensity of heat, reflecting the average kinetic energy or speed of molecules.
Trace element An element that is essential for the survival of an organism but is needed in only minute quantities.
Created by: EdL